Cincinnati has tons to offer visitors and locals looking for an adventure. However, Cincinnati is not known for its fabulous hiking trails and an abundance of scenic landscape. Locals usually have to drive a good distance to feel like they have left the city lights to be at one with nature. Before you hop in your car to take off to the nearest State Park check out these lesser-known hiking trails in Cincinnati. You may even consider growing a beard and hiking the Appalachian Trail afterward.
Red Bird Hollow Preserve
Located in the heart of Indian Hill this hidden gem is one of the best family trails that I have stumbled across. The trailhead can be located off Given Rd. Coming from Route 50 you will want to turn onto Given Rd and the trailhead is about a half mile up to the left. There is a little parking area usually with a car or two in it. Further up the road is some overflow parking. Another access point can be located off Drake Park in Indian Hill.
One of the main reasons this trail stole my heart is that it is very wide, pretty level and makes you forget you are in the city. There are a few portions of this trail that are starting to crumble away leaving steep drop-offs and narrow passage. Keep small kids near you while going through these parts. Most of the areas have cones and can be spotted in enough time to wrangle in any small hikers. Many side trails allow you and your hiking companions to explore the creek and more. This is the perfect trail for families, small children, and pets.
Dog lovers rejoice because this trail will give your four-legged friend something to wag their tail about. This trail is frequented by many dogs without leashes so keep that in mind when bringing your furry pal. It might be one of the best hiking trails in Cincinnati for dogs! This is not a looping trail so be prepared to walk back for a total of 3 miles.
This wonderful park is truly underrated and should get more visitors than it does. Located in Amberley Village, off Section Rd this park has a variety of different trails that offer more of a challenge. The trails are not that well-marked and to my knowledge, I have yet to find a map of the different trails. Therefore, it’s easy to take a wrong turn and end up on a different trail, but the good news is that they all connect for the most part or will take you to a trailhead. Be sure to bring sunscreen because there is a trail that loops around in the meadow which will have you burning in no time.
I was able to strap baby Soph on my back and enjoy about an hour worth of trails before she called it quits. The trails are moderate and there are a few good inclines that can be borderline strenuous. There is also a trail that leads directly to the creek which is perfect for those little explorers. Kids can easily do these trails, just be sure to bring trail mix and water. Just in case you get turned around and it takes a little longer to get back to the car.
Be sure to drive to the top of the park to see a great view and enjoy a picnic lunch!
Ault Park Loop
This is one trail that is truly unique to the Cincinnati area. It resides in one of the prettiest parks our city has to offer, Ault Park. The Valley Trail will take you through the woods and will lead to the abandoned railroad bridge. Be sure to keep kids close as you near the railroad tracks. The tracks are not maintained and can be treacherous for the little wanderers.
The trail is a moderate .65 miles and is not a loop. Other trails do connect with the Valley Trail so you can make your own adventure. The trailhead is located at the bottom of the hill on Observatory Avenue. Look for it on the left side of the park as you enter. Here is a map to help guide you.
There are tons of other great trails and parks in the Tri-State area to explore. Feel free to leave comments on other great hiking trails in Cincinnati.
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